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European car manufacturers partner on electric-vehicle charging stations

Some of the world's largest car manufacturers are joining together in an effort to develop a joint network of rapid electric-vehicle charging stations across Europe. The automakers have opted to reject the idea of installing their own charging stations in favor of a collaborative approach.

It has been announced that BMW's quasi-independent design studio Designworks will work with Ionity to design the charging station architecture, the charger pylons themselves and the entire digital interaction concept.

Ionity CEO Michael Hajesch expressed his delight at the agreement with BMW's Designworks and said the partnership represented a great opportunity to accelerate electro-mobility across Europe.

The CEO said, "For selection of the design partner, our criteria included a comprehensive understanding of future mobility as well as experience outside of the automotive industry, competence in both analog and digital interfaces, pronounced intercultural expertise, and the ability to develop concepts with a view to future contexts.  In creating the first Pan-European HPC network, we are looking to give electro-mobility a boost toward a breakthrough in Europe. Design, with the tremendous potential it has to reach people and influence them in a positive manner, is a key factor for us here."

The joint initiative between BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, and Ford, Ionity will see them attempt to install 400 high-power charging stations along major highways across Europe by the end of 2020. Each station will feature up to six chargers. And they'll be spaced at a distance of about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from each other. So an electric vehicle with at least that much range will be able to leapfrog from one to the other along its route, eliminating range anxiety and opening up Europe's highway network for electric vehicles to criss-cross the continent.